IndiGo fined ‘5 lakh for not allowing special child to board

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NEW DELHI: Civil aviation regulator DGCA has fined private carrier IndiGo Rs 5 lakh for “deficient” handling of a special child who wasn’t allowed by the airline’s ground staff at Ranchi airport to board a Hyderabad-bound flight with his parents on May 7, following which the family couldn’t make the trip and later filed a complaint.
DGCA said IndiGo’s officials could have been “more compassionate”. “Airlines should revisit their standard operating procedures and training processes while dealing with such cases in order to bring a more humane touch,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar said on Saturday.
The regulator is set to revise rules in this regard.
DGCA found handling of special child by IndiGo staff ‘deficient’
After the fiasco at Ranchi airport, where a special child was denied boarding by IndiGo’s ground staff, civil aviation regulator DGCA plans to revamp rules for evaluating whether a person with disabilities should be denied boarding, which is currently done by airline ground staff within a framework to assess flight risks. A draft of revised rules will be brought out soon. This may make it mandatory for airlines to consult airport doctors and flight captains in special cases. Public opinion will be solicited and incorporated in the final guidelines.
According to DGCA, the handling of the special child by the airline’s ground staff on May 7 was “deficient” and ended up “exacerbating the situation”. “A more compassionate handling would hav obviated the need for the extreme step”. Some doctors on the flight had requested the airline to let the child board the plane, assuring that they would help in case the child needed any help during the flight. But “in line with safety guidelines” the child was not allowed to board.

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